Not feeling happy about your travel photographs? As a professional photographer, I have spent last 8 years using different cameras in totally unpredictable lighting conditions. And these are simple non-technical travel photography tips I am sharing with you which helped me throughout my career.
The idea behind this article is to provide photography tips that are equally useful for all kind of photographers. Be it iPhone photographer, on Point and shoot or on DSLR. These are simple tricks & tips to take photographs like professional.
In case you are searching for a good camera as well, here is my list of latest Top cameras of 2017 in your budget.
Today’s era is of Selfies and digital photography. People are recording almost every moment of their travel experiences. These images are like a souvenir, Photographs freeze those moments forever. But sometimes when you check your photographs they may not look exactly the way you had imagined. Some of the common issues are – subject face is totally dark, background colors are not vibrant, blurred picture of the subject, grainy image, and the list goes on.
I have seen people blaming camera for not taking good photographs, and end up spending lot of money on buying expensive DSLR camera.
Today’s cameras have advanced a lot compare to old technology. I used during initial days of my professional photography. Even a cheap camera like Sjcam SJ5000x Elite costing only 11000/- offers 4K video. and you would be amazed to see what people have created using such cameras. So rather than blaming camera and spending money on a newer camera, The secret to beautiful travel photography lies in following these photography tips
Rule of Third
This is the most amazing & yet one of the most simple rules to get not only outstanding travel photographs but any kind of picture can be transformed into a beauty. Salute to the guy whoever came up with this rule.
Following this rule alone can be a great improvement to your composition.
What is Rule of third? Imagine dividing your image equally in 1/3th horizontally and vertically. Thus you are dividing your frame into 9 equal section. Just place your main subject at the point of intersection of these lines. Check the picture below.
The main subject at the intersection point is pleasing to the eyes compared to having it in dead center.
Cameras offer “grid ” facility to easily place your subject at 1/3th of the frame.
To make it work perfectly first you will need to observe your frame and decide what is your main subject in the frame. A simple hack for the portrait photography is “person’s eyes“.
That brings the second trick for travel photography – ” Get at the eye level of your subject”
Get at the eye level of your subject
This is something I have learned from experience. I have realized that getting to the eye level of a subject changes the entire perspective of the picture. It feels like you are connecting the viewer directly to the subject through your photographs. So many parents click their child picture from a height. It makes them look little tiny, adding to the fact they already are smaller in size.
Another reason for taking photograph at eye level is, it gives you infinite background. The background behind the subject is blurred if using less f-stop. But from a height, the background is very near to the subject making it a boring image.
My next trick is the third advantage of taking shot at eye level
Leading line (My Most favorite among all the tricks)
Even though you haven’t noticed it earlier every decent photograph have the main subject and other elements in the picture. Now you may have taken such pictures, especially portraits of family members and you love it when they stand out in the entire picture. Sometimes unknowingly you may have used leading lines, and the results just amazed you. a typical example is a photo of your wife/husband in the middle of the road. Viewers entire focus is on the subject because of all the elements in picture lead viewer attention to the subject. or a picture of your loved once at the end of bridge??? Does this click some light??
Using leading lines in your travel photography is very easy. No matter where you are going you will definitely use the road at some point. or you may be enjoying your vacation at the beach.
Pay attention to roads, bridges, river, mountains, windows, rocks, waterline at a beach, a row of wooden pillars.…. Put this lines in the foreground and have your main subject at the end of it or in a background. That’s it, you have turned a simple boring picture into a postcard level of a stunning image.
I just mentioned foreground and background here, Well that is my next trick
Use of foreground, midground and background
One of the basic rules of photography is to not have empty space in the picture. Well, you don’t have to stick to all the time but if we are talking about landscapes, I guess it applies well except when you are taking a minimalist picture. (we will talk about minimalist pictures in next tip).
So an image full of elements have three parts, foreground, midground, and background. A typical example is your loved once near to camera and having a famous monument in the background a little farther.
Such images create layers allowing the viewer to decide which layer to focus on.
Why do we love palaces, monuments so much? They are classic examples of symmetrical architecture. Use it as much as you can in your picture. Symmetry is all around us, look at the butterflies, leaves, your own face!! Symmetry creates beauty and if used effectively in a photograph can result in powerful images.
While using symmetry in your photography you need to break the rule of third. You can produce mirror image only when both parts are equal, here place your main subject exactly in the center.
Also, symmetry is not only about having mirror images, leading lines can also be an example of symmetry. For example staircases, straight road etc.
Select you timing
This is not a trick, but an open secret followed by most of the professional photographers around the world. Even though this is one of the most influencing factors on the quality of photographs, It is practically not possible for everyone to rise early and hit the location for photography. But if you are a photography enthusiast, utilize the sunrise and sunset time for photography. During this time, Sky offers amazing color shades. The orange touch of light on subjects face will add charm to your photograph.
I being a wedding photographer often notice the dressing code of Christian brides. All of her bridesmaids are wearing a single color gown and in contrast to it, her own dress is white. Even though the bridesmaids are wearing sexy clothes when you look at the group picture, Your eyes settle immediately on bride!! That’s power of photography!!
The human being has always loved all kind of colors, especially women. It is no wonder, Manarola Italy is considered as one of the most beautiful beach villages.
Recently Slamet Widodo, A teacher from Indonesia decided to do a makeover of a village and turned it into a “rainbow village“. It has since turned into “must visit places in Indonesia“.
I need not go further and explain how beautiful images you get if you can manage to include multiple colors in your photographs.
If travel photography is your passion, here is my simple trick for you – carry a colorful umbrella with you!! rest you can imagine.
Just bent on your knees!
This is an open secret but rarely used. This is same as getting to eye level but little different. Eye level shot is not limited to baby or pet pictures. In eye level shot you try to have the same height as your subjects eye. But here you are actually trying to get very near to the ground. You can call it a ground shot as well.
Again like eye level shot you get the beautiful background behind the subject. But there is much more than that.
Ground or elements like grass on the ground provide foreground and leading lines for your photographs.
So next time you are on taking landscape image, try this!! A blurred grass in the foreground with your subject in the background makes a hell of a difference.
Everyone love sunset colors!! You are compelled to take out the camera to capture the beautiful orange shade of sky. Your loved once is eagerly posing for you and when you hit the click button. Either his/her face is totally dark or auto flash ruined the orange shade of sky.
Rather than fuzzing around with different setting try to take advantage of this situation actually. Get clicked with your loved once in a romantic pose. You don’t have to worry about pimples or makeup!!
Put your subject in shadow
Except for sunrise, sunset and cloudy weather the sunlight is very bright for the camera. Picture clicked in direct sunlight have burnt skin effect, which can make even hottest movie actresses look ugly. So whenever you are clicking in bright sunlight, put your subject in shadow so the light falling on the face is even.
If you are clicking a picture of the curved road, you need to give more space towards the curve. It is an example of leading line with a story telling aspect. You are showing the viewer the direction of the action.
I will be soon adding technical tricks and camera setting for travel photography. leave your travel photography & equipment related queries in the comment section. I will be happy to help you